The Prince of Asturias Awards, the Spanish equivalent of the Nobel prizes, have been presented in Oviedo by the heir to the Spanish throne, Prince Felipe.
The awards cover eight categories. In the field of Literature, the recipient was Albanian writer Ismail Kadaré. In a speech before collecting a Joan Miro sculpture, diploma and 50,000 euros, he evoked a rare bond between Albania and Spain. “During that glacial age when no-one travelled between my country and Spain, a solitary gentleman crossed the impassable frontier as often as he wished, spurning the world’s laws. You know who I am referring to: Don Quixote,” he said, Margaret Chan picked up the International Cooperation award on behalf of the World Health Organisation, while British architect Norman Foster collected in the Arts. Another Briton, Sir David Attenborough, was a recipient in Social Sciences. Mobile phone inventor Martin Cooper and e-mail pioneer Raymond Tomlinson were joint winners of the Technical and Scientific Research category, while the city of Berlin was chosen for the Concord prize. Russian pole-vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva was awarded the Asturias prize for Sports.